Foreign Material Control – A basic understanding

Foreign Material Control – A basic understanding

Foreign Material (FM) Control is often a source of major problem for the food industry in the US, as a good part of consumer complaints across the food industry in the country relates to FM inclusion in finished food products. This issue has been one of considerable debate too, in not only the industry, but society itself as a whole. It involves food, without which no human can survive, and hence the controversy.

What is FM?

Foreign material control has a major impact on business in the US. Detection of above permissible foreign material control has resulted in market withdrawals, meaning expensive costs for the business doing it. The controversy starts with defining what “foreign material” is in the industry’s context. It can be broadly defined as foreign objects and/or extraneous matter found in food that the consumer has not expected or has not been informed about. Not everyone is agreed on this definition of foreign material control, because there is a high level of subjectivity and interpretability over the critical terms of this definition.

Definitions in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act

There are various definitions of FM in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act:

–        402(a) (1): “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.”

–        According to the 402(a) (3), “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance, or if it is otherwise unfit for food.”

–        402(a) (4) details that “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.”

Reference:

http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/article.asp?id=291&sub=sub1

 

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